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How can the standard tailor experience differ, and what should I look for in a tailor?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone. I live in the Kansai area of Japan. Today I went shopping for a new suit, and visited two tailors in my area.

 

The first place I went to was called Katsura (http://www.t-katsura.com/). Here were some key points about this place:

 

1.) Every fabric had the name of the brand attached. Almost every one was Italian.

 

2.) The jackets alone ran from about 80,000 yen to 100,000 yen ($900 - $1100).

 

3.) The measuring process was two-part, and overall it would take roughly 6-8 weeks to finish my suit.

 

4.) The shop clerk said to me that everything they make is fully canvassed.

 

5.) The inside of the store was impeccably clean and well organized, and it was on a large shopping street.

 

The second place I went to was called Bespoke Tailor DMG (http://bespoke-tailor-dmg.com/suits/index.html). The differences were the following:

 

1.) Most of their fabrics only had the country of origin written (England, Italy, Japan, and China), although they did have some names attached to certain lines.

 

2.) The jackets alone ran from 45,000 to 80,000 yen ($500 - $900), significantly cheaper than Katsura.

 

3.) The measuring process is only one part, and it would take about 4 weeks to finish the suit.

 

4.) The shop clerk said to me that I could choose between canvassed, half-canvassed, and unstructured.

 

5.) The inside of the store was generally nice, although not as nice as Katsura. It was kind of tucked away in a back alley though.

 

6.) By making a reservation in advance they are willing to give me a 5000 yen to 8000 yen discount ($50-$80).

 

I know that Japanese craftsmanship is almost always very solid and well done, but I wonder if any of the things from the second store set off any alarms. To me it seems like the greatest difference would be in the fabric used, but I wonder how much I should pay mind to that. From both stores I liked their 100% wool items, as when silk began to be part of the picture the cost increased pretty significantly.

 

Is this something you can't really tell until you actually have the suit made, or is it possible to make judgments from the above in advance? If absolutely necessary I'll dish out the extra few hundred for the first shop, but I haven't noticed any reason why the second would be any different in the final product.

 

Thanks for the time in reading this post!

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by TummyBoy View Post
 

Hey everyone. I live in the Kansai area of Japan. Today I went shopping for a new suit, and visited two tailors in my area.

 

The first place I went to was called Katsura (http://www.t-katsura.com/). Here were some key points about this place:

 

1.) Every fabric had the name of the brand attached. Almost every one was Italian.

 

2.) The jackets alone ran from about 80,000 yen to 100,000 yen ($900 - $1100).

 

3.) The measuring process was two-part, and overall it would take roughly 6-8 weeks to finish my suit.

 

4.) The shop clerk said to me that everything they make is fully canvassed.

 

5.) The inside of the store was impeccably clean and well organized, and it was on a large shopping street.

 

The second place I went to was called Bespoke Tailor DMG (http://bespoke-tailor-dmg.com/suits/index.html). The differences were the following:

 

1.) Most of their fabrics only had the country of origin written (England, Italy, Japan, and China), although they did have some names attached to certain lines.

 

2.) The jackets alone ran from 45,000 to 80,000 yen ($500 - $900), significantly cheaper than Katsura.

 

3.) The measuring process is only one part, and it would take about 4 weeks to finish the suit.

 

4.) The shop clerk said to me that I could choose between canvassed, half-canvassed, and unstructured.

 

5.) The inside of the store was generally nice, although not as nice as Katsura. It was kind of tucked away in a back alley though.

 

6.) By making a reservation in advance they are willing to give me a 5000 yen to 8000 yen discount ($50-$80).

 

I know that Japanese craftsmanship is almost always very solid and well done, but I wonder if any of the things from the second store set off any alarms. To me it seems like the greatest difference would be in the fabric used, but I wonder how much I should pay mind to that. From both stores I liked their 100% wool items, as when silk began to be part of the picture the cost increased pretty significantly.

 

Is this something you can't really tell until you actually have the suit made, or is it possible to make judgments from the above in advance? If absolutely necessary I'll dish out the extra few hundred for the first shop, but I haven't noticed any reason why the second would be any different in the final product.

 

Thanks for the time in reading this post!

The only thing I would be concerned about is the one part, vs. the two part, measuring process.  I would expect that in the two part process would include the creation of a muslin fitting garment, or a second measurement when the garment is only partially finished, and then they would go on to make your finished garment after adjustments on the muslin garment, or adjust the unfinished garment before finishibng it. The single measuring process indicates that they would make a finished garment immediately, and alter as needed.  

 

Of course, how the garment fits and feels and looks is going to depend on the skill of the fitter and the cutter.  You won't be able to tell this without actually trying out the tailor.  Of course, the first thing is that you are able to communicate well with your tailor.  Good luck!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post
 

The only thing I would be concerned about is the one part, vs. the two part, measuring process.  I would expect that in the two part process would include the creation of a muslin fitting garment, or a second measurement when the garment is only partially finished, and then they would go on to make your finished garment after adjustments on the muslin garment, or adjust the unfinished garment before finishibng it. The single measuring process indicates that they would make a finished garment immediately, and alter as needed.  

 

Of course, how the garment fits and feels and looks is going to depend on the skill of the fitter and the cutter.  You won't be able to tell this without actually trying out the tailor.  Of course, the first thing is that you are able to communicate well with your tailor.  Good luck!

 

Hm, that sounds good then. The first place I'm fairly sure has jacked up prices because it's in a really expensive part of town while the second place is just in front of a shrine, chilling off on a side street. I suppose there's no need to have any doubts about the quality of either place, especially since the second place does have certain products labeled with fabric brand names.

 

Do you have any advice for picking a cloth from the cloth book? Is it the softness, firmness, or any other thing I should look at? The ones I'm checking out now are 100% wool.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by TummyBoy View Post

Hm, that sounds good then. The first place I'm fairly sure has jacked up prices because it's in a really expensive part of town while the second place is just in front of a shrine, chilling off on a side street. I suppose there's no need to have any doubts about the quality of either place, especially since the second place does have certain products labeled with fabric brand names.

Do you have any advice for picking a cloth from the cloth book? Is it the softness, firmness, or any other thing I should look at? The ones I'm checking out now are 100% wool.

I personally eschew the higher super numbers. Something a bit more workaday and durable. For a first suit, I would also go for something Navy or charcoal. There is always done later to do something different.
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